Whether or not you have plans to set sail for foreign lands, take your friends and family on an international trip with all the comforts of home with these Around the World party ideas.
Feature tastes, iconic images, sounds, and even fashion from around the globe for a fun evening celebrating new and novel places.
Use a travel theme as a fun way to connect your countries (or cities) and provide cohesiveness to the event. Welcome your guests with a directional wooden sign post with arrows pointing to each of your destinations outside the front entrance.
Decorate the foyer or entry to your Around the World party as a travel agency office with world flags, luggage (with stickers), maps, globes and posters. And, transform your main bar into an airline ticket counter and use food picks featuring the country’s flags to serve appetizers and decorate drinks for each location.
Alternatively, use a cruise theme to visit countries in a particular region, such as a Mediterranean, South American or Caribbean cruise. Use nautical and cruise ship decor for your entry and main bar.
Actually, you can use any mode of transportation, such as trains for visiting specific cities or hot air balloons in keeping with the original Around the World (in 80 days) concept.
Issue boarding pass-style invitations for each guest decorated with travel or country-specific pictures. As a memorable keepsake, create personalized passport books with room for a photo and entries for each “destination”.
International sporting events always make for a great excuse to throw an Around The World party, such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics. Whether a viewing party or entertaining in season, encourage and enjoy the friendly camaraderie.
Throwing an Around the World party in honor of an international holiday makes for a fun and distinctive theme for a social gathering. We've included a list of international holidays throughout the year at the end of this post.
The Guest List
You may not be an expert world traveler or be able to spout off fascinating historical facts about far off places, there is a good chance that some of your friends and acquaintances have a relationship with countries outside of America. If not, hosting this kind of party is a great way to network and expand your social group!
Although it's not necessary to accommodate your guests‘ nationalities and cultures, featuring a country to which they are somehow connected to will enrich the occasion by incorporating their experience. It can open the door to spontaneous conversation and interesting dialogue that will be unique to your event.
Incorporate at least three but no more than seven countries, depending on the size of your gathering. This range gives enough variety without making it impossible for guests to “visit” each country.
One way of organizing the event is to designate rooms or stations for each country featuring culturally-inspired appetizers, drinks, and decor. Print your own posters of iconic architecture or cultural treasures and place them at each station, and incorporate full-size or miniature flags for each country.
Another possibility is to serve hors d’oeuvres and drinks in rounds that correspond with culturally-relevant musical selections mixed-in your playlist, so that everyone can “travel” together. An Around the World dinner party is also a great way to experience food and drinks from different countries with each course.
When decorating for each country or city consider distinctive and unique elements from the area, such as:
Attractions, e.g. Taj Mahal (India)
Cuisine, e.g. Sushi (Japan)
Drinks, e.g. Pimm's (United Kingdom)
Sports, e.g. Olympics (Greece)
Traditions, e.g. Running of the Bulls (Spain)
Celebrations, e.g. Carnivale (Brazil)
Icons, e.g. Eiffel Tower (France)
Music, e.g. Mariachi (Mexico)
Animals, e.g. Kangaroo (Australia)
Plants, e.g. Bamboo (China)
Geography, e.g. Waterfall (Argentina)
Famous People, e.g. Leif Erikson (Iceland)
Fashion, e.g. Lederhosen (Germany)
Industry, e.g. Murano Glass (Italy)
In my opinion, an Around the World theme screams costume party, although in truth I would be hard-pressed to think of any party that doesn't have potential for themed accouterments.
Encourage your guests to wear their favorite travel-inspired costumery (depending on the formality of the occasion), from safari hunter garb, to uniformed flight attendant or airline pilot, to hilariously fashion-immune tourist gear.
Jan 01 Global Family Day
Jan 04 World Braille Day
Jan 11 International Thank-You Day
Jan 30 World Leprosy Day
Feb 12 Darwin Day
Feb 21 International Mother Language Day
Feb 22 World Thinking Day
Mar 01 International Day of the Seal
Mar 08 International Women's Day
Mar 20 World Frog Day
Mar 21 World Down Syndrome Day
Mar 22 World Water Day
Mar 23 World Meteorological Day
Mar 29 Earth Hour
Apr 02 International Children’s Book Day
Apr 07 World Health Day
Apr 12 Yuri's Night
Apr 13 International Special Librarian’s Day
Apr 21 International Creativity and Innovation Day
Apr 22 Earth Day
Apr 23 World Book Day
Apr 25 World Penguin Day
May 03 World Press Freedom Day
May 05 International Midwives Day
May 08 World Red Cross Day
May 10 World Lupus Day
May 12 International Nurses Day
May 13 IEEE Global Engineering Day
May 15 International Day of Families
May 18 International Museum Day
May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity
May 22 International Day for Biological Diversity
May 23 World Turtle Day
May 24 World Schizophrenia Day
May 25 Towel Day
May 31 World No-Tobacco Day
Jun 08 World Ocean Day
Jun 14 World Blood Donor Day
Jun 16 International Day of the African Child
Jun 17 World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought
Jun 20 World Refugee Day
Jun 26 International Day Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking
Jul 11 World Population Day
Jul 16 World Snake Day
Aug 08 Universal & International Infinity Day
Aug 09 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Aug 10 International Biodiesel Day
Aug 12 International Youth Day
Aug 13 International Lefthanders Day
Aug 14 World Lizard Day
Aug 23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & its Abolition
Sep 08 International Literacy Day
Sep 13 International Chocolate Day
Sep 15 Software Freedom Day
Sep 16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
Sep 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day
Sep 21 World Gratitude Day
Sep 22 World Car-Free Day
Sep 29 Inventors Day
Oct 01 International Music Day
Oct 02 World Farm Animals Day
Oct 03 World Temperance Day
Oct 04 World Animal Day
Oct 05 World Teacher's Day
Oct 10 World Mental Health Day
Oct 16 World Food Day
Oct 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Oct 24 United Nations Day
Oct 29 International Internet Day
Nov 08 World Town Planning Day
Nov 16 International Day for Tolerance
Nov 21 World Television Day
Nov 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Nov 30 International Computer Security Day
Dec 01 World Aids Day
Dec 02 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery